ConGen-Global-2025 – Recent Advances in Conservation Genetics – will be offered at the Cheetah Conservation Fund Research Center, Otjiwarongo Namibia (01/5-15/2025).  

This course will host 25-30 students, with emphasis on students from African countries, and 15-20 faculty from around the world.  The course will feature the latest methods, interpretations, and applications of genetic/genomic analyses for the conservation of endangered species, and the faculty will share their expertise in technologies, research strategies, and translation featuring population-based studies.

To receive full consideration for the class, the applications must be submitted before June 6th, 2024.  

Primary organizers and the local hosts: The local hosts in Namibia will be Dr. Laurie Marker and Dr. Anne Schmidt-Küntzel (Cheetah Conservation Fund, Namibia). The ConGen Organization Committee are Stephen J. O’Brien (NOVA Southeastern University, FL, USA, chair), Taras K Oleksyk (Oakland University, MI, USA), Emma Teeling, (University College Dublin, Ireland), Eduardo Eizirik (PUCRS, Brazil), Laurie Marker (CEO Cheetah Conservation Fund, Namibia), Cindy Harper (University of Pretoria Veterinary College, South Africa), Laurie Goodman (Executive Editor, GigaScience), Klaus-Peter Koepfli (Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, George Mason University, USA), and Anne Schmidt-Küntzel (Cheetah Conservation Fund, Namibia).

• International ConGen faculty: ConGen Global-2025 will gather pre-eminent experts in genomics and conservation science who have developed and applied a multi-disciplinary approach to serve as faculty.

• Local Faculty: A list of the outstanding researchers from Namibia and other African countries that can contribute to the course has been suggested by the local co-organizers.

• Course Staff: Several young researchers from the ConGen Global alumni have been regularly invited to help with the running of the course, leading computational tutorials and/or field events

Preliminary course schedule: This ConGen Global course will be in its 29th year of initial offering, with a curriculum that has been developed over the years to emphasize the most recent conceptual, technical, and analytical developments in the discipline. Topics focus on the most recent and relevant advances in technical and analytical tools and how they are being applied to real-world conservation issues.  The course will be a combination of plenary lectures from invited experts and hands-on instructional tutorials on specific computational techniques in conservation genetics/genomics. Examples of past schedules from past courses can be accessed at the course’s web page (

In the past, topics have included:

  • Study design for conservation genomics projects
  • Overview of next-generation sequencing methods (short and long reads)
  • Introduction to Python and Unix
  • Whole genome assembly, annotation, and alignment
  • Read mapping and variant calling methods
  • Genome-wide analysis of admixture and ancestry
  • Estimating and visualizing genome-wide diversity
  • Genome-wide association studies
  • SNP-based analyses of genetic structure/gene flow, phytogeography
  • Estimation of effective population size and historical demography
  • Identifying signatures of selection in population genomic data sets
  • Constructing phylogenomic data sets and analysis
  • SNP-based analyses of relatedness, inbreeding, and paternity
  • Detecting emerging pathogens in natural populations
  • Environmental DNA
  • DNA forensics as applied to controlling illegal poaching and trade
  • Integration of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) into conservation genomic data analysis
  • Integration of genetics/genomics into conservation management plans


Stephen J O’Brien

ConGen Chief and Founder, Professor and Research Director, NOVA Southeastern University, FLORIDA, USA, Member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA),

Laurie Marker

Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund, NAMIBIA.